THIS WAS 1995-96, the 76ers’ 18-victory season of first-round draft choice Jerry Stackhouse and the team of Clarence Weatherspoon, Vernon Maxwell, Trevor Ruffin, Shawn Bradley, Jeff Malone, Sharone Wright and Derrick Alston.

And, during the preseason workouts and scrimmages at Saint Joseph’s University . . . Lower Merion High senior Kobe Bryant.

“He was better than anyone we had,” said Chicago Bulls assistant coach Ron Adams, then a Sixers assistant.

Legends tend to evolve over the years. Bryant, in his 12th season, became the NBA’s Most Valuable Player for the first time this year. He has won three rings with the Los Angeles Lakers, but when the Finals begin tonight in Boston he will be aiming for his first title without Shaquille O’Neal.

“I brought him to the Spectrum when we were playing the Chicago Bulls, to introduce him to Michael Jordan,” then-Sixers coach and general manager John Lucas said. “Kobe was very polite, calling Michael ‘Mr. Jordan.’ When we left, I said, ‘Kobe, you’re coming into the league, you can’t be calling him Mr. Jordan.”’

Continue reading ‘Kid Kobe dazzled Sixers’